Speaker Pérez Calls for Heightened University Policies to Promote Safe Environments for Students

Sacramento, Nov. 23, 2010 –

After the recent suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today sent a letter to the University of California Regents and California State University Trustees asking them to review policies and programs established on California campuses to protect all students and provide them with safe learning environments.

“The recent tragedies of young men and women committing suicide has brought to light the disturbing fact that in today’s digital world, there are too many outlets for people to be bullied, harassed and hounded to the point of desperation,” Pérez said.

“California’s institutions of higher learning have taken steps to promote a safe and inclusive campus environment, but we need to ensure that every measure is taken to protect young people." said Pérez. "I have asked for the UC and CSU leadership to review the conditions on campuses throughout California to ensure that we are taking those steps, and will be working closely with them in my capacity as a UC Regent and CSU Trustee. The safety and well being of our students must be their highest priority.”

This past September, Rutgers University freshman, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide after he was outed as gay by his roommate and another student.  The students filmed and uploaded to the Internet a video of Tyler and another male student together.

Pérez, the first openly gay legislative leader in California’s history, requested that the following questions be discussed at a future meeting of the UC Regents and the Trustees regarding university policies and programs to deter hatred on California campuses:

1. What policies or programs do the UC and the CSU have that promote a safe and hostile-free environment for students, including LGBT students, both on campus and in dormitories?

2. What is the UC and CSU code of conduct with respect to student privacy issues and what is the recourse if a student violates this code?

3. What is the expectation of privacy for students that reside in dormitories and are those students aware of the level of privacy to which they are entitled?

4. How have the systems and the campuses funded critical student services like psychological services, resource centers, and retention services particularly in light of state budget reductions and significant student fee increases?

5. How did the UC and the CSU respond administratively, programmatically, and from a policy standpoint to what happened at Rutgers (e.g. review policies, send out reminders about UC on CSU policies to their faculty, students and administrators, etc.)?

The Speaker believes these questions will help stimulate beneficial discussions on the actions taken by college campuses to promote tolerance and analyze the existing conditions of college campuses.


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